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A Roman Roundel of Jupiter-Ammon, ca 1st century AD

RB1310

The god portrayed frontal and in raised relief, with stylized curling hair, beard and moustache and beard; curling ram's horns to either side, featuring large, expressive, almond shaped eyes of inlaid silver are further emphasized by long incised eyelashes.  Four round attachment holes to the flat rim enable mounting to a larger composition. 

Decorative roundels like this marvelous bronze example are some of the more mysterious objects in the whole of Roman art. While we know they served as adornments, the objects they once embellished, ranging from pieces of furniture to armor, were assembled from less durable materials and have long since disappeared, leaving behind only these decorations only. 

The addition of Ammon to the god of gods, Zeus, comes from the Egyptian diety Amun, later fused with the Sun god, Ra, as Amun-Ra. His position as King of Gods developed to the point of virtual monotheism where other gods became manifestations of him. With Osiris, Amun-Ra is the most widely recorded of the Egyptian gods. As the chief deity of the Egyptian Empire, Amun-Ra also came to be worshipped outside of Egypt, in Ancient Libya and Nubia, and as Zeus Ammon came to be identified with Zeus, or Jupiter, in Ancient Greece and Rome. 

Dimensions:  Diameter 6 cm (2 1/4 inches)

Condition:  Signs of wear can be found around the edges, a fine green-brown patina throughout, piece is otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall. 

Provenance:  Clarence Schroder private collection, Florida, acquired prior to 1970.


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